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Five York-Adams players earn Pennsylvania all-state basketball honors

While the Hilda Goodling Impact Academy closed in March, its one-season basketball legacy lived on Thursday with two all-state nominations.

Juwan Gooding and Caesar DeJesus were two of five area players to make the Pennsylvania Sports Writers' All-State Basketball Teams. William Penn's Jahaire Wilson received third-team honors for Class AAAA boys. On the girls' side, Dallastown senior Amari Johnson and Delone Catholic senior Maddie Comly earned nods.

The three local boys' nominations came from schools within York, where players faced off-court distractions in addition to on-court opponents.

Impact was in the unprecedented position of withdrawing from the PIAA tournament after winning a District 3 Class A crown. The school closed because of insufficient funding shortly after Gooding helped its high school team to that title. A slashing senior guard who averaged 23.8 points per game, Gooding returned to the Boston area, said coach David Archer, who told Gooding on Thursday that he received an all-state third-team nod.

"For him, he was excited," Archer said. "I think he wanted a chance to show he was one of the best players in the state."

Impact's other all-state performer, 6-foot-3 guard Caesar DeJesus, played on the school's prep team. He helped it win 19 games and averaged 23.4 points while playing other college preparatory schools around the region.

DeJesus is technically a high school senior, which is why he was considered for an all-state nomination. His college interest includes Division I offers from schools such as Southern Mississippi.

Since Impact's closing, Archer said, DeJesus has enrolled at Steel-High and is considering another year of prep school.

"He's one of the most talented kids I've seen in the last 10 years," said Archer, who has won three district titles with stops at Pine Grove, New Hope Academy and Impact.

York's city school, William Penn, also had its off-court scares with the threat of a charter takeover. The Bearcats repeated as District 3 Class AAAA champions, and senior forward Jahaire Wilson received a spot on the all-state third team.

"He just brings so much tenacity to the game," coach Troy Sowers said. "His numbers are gaudy (18.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.3 blocks). He's the energizer bunny. I didn't really take him out of a game unless he was in foul trouble."

Wilson is the third all-state player in Sowers' nine seasons as coach. Kelvin Parker made the first team in 2011, and Malik Generett received a spot on the second team in 2009.

Parker is William Penn's all-time leading boys' scorer, and Wilson's 1,233 career points put him just ahead of Generett for No. 4 on the program's list.

"He's 6-3, but he plays like he's 6-6 with his wing span and how he can jump," Sowers said.

Amari Johnson displayed similar characteristics for the Dallastown girls' team.

The 6-1 forward who's headed to the University of Rhode Island led the Wildcats in scoring, rebounding and blocks. She helped Dallastown to a YAIAA Division I title and became the ninth girl in school history to score 1,000 career points.

Johnson averaged 16.7 points and landed on the all-state second team for Class AAAA with two other District 3 players, Brittany Robinson and Michaela Gelbaugh of Central Dauphin East. The girls' Class AAAA Player of the Year is Cumberland Valley junior Kelly Jekot, who led the Eagles to District 3 and PIAA titles.

Blackhawk's Chassidy Omogrosso received her second straight player of the year award, snagging the Class AAA honor, while Ciani Cryor won the Class AA award for state champion Neumann-Goretti.

In AA, Delone's Comly joined Cryor and Goretti's Sianni Martin on the first team. A three-sport standout who played volleyball in the fall and is currently on the track and field team, Comly led the YAIAA girls in scoring with a 22.8 average. She will play basketball next season at Fairleigh Dickinson.

Comly and Wilson received YAIAA Player of the Year honors from Those all-league teams also were announced online this week and will be published in Saturday's and Sunday's print editions of the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.

Related: Comly honored by all-state basketball selection